Summary of Revelation



 

An overview of the message given to Christ and sent to us

 

  

The Revelation given to Christ from His Father is a detailed account of what God’s plans for the universe and man have and will in the future be along with exactly how they will unfold.  The process God is using is clear and it is related in its planned order but that does not mean that each chapter relates each successive event.  For instance in chapter six God tells us of His wrath however chapter seven takes us back before that wrath begins.  It is saying before that wrath can start to unfold there is something that must take place first and chapter seven tells us what and why this is so.  The actual wrath of God does not begin in Revelation until chapter nine. 

          Revelation begins with a message to the body or church of Christ in the form of seven letters to seven churches.  There is actually only one church but the number seven symbolizes that church as being perfect.  Therefore there are seven messages, which make up one perfect message to the one complete and perfect body of Christ.  This is because Revelation is a book of symbolism. 

How do we know this and how do we know what the symbolism means?  The Bible itself clears this symbolism up for us.  All we need, to make the symbolism clear and understandable, is a Bible, a concordance, and the time and patience to track these symbolic words down. As an example let us take the word sun.  In a concordance the word sun is never used to symbolize anything but the sun for it is used over 135 times in the Bible and it always relates to that ball of fire we see in the sky each day, and this is true even when it is used to symbolize or represent excessive brightness.

Rev 1:16

In his right hand he held seven stars, and out of his mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. NIV

 

Horses are often portrayed as horses but frequently they usually represent something else such as powerful forces, particularly in battle.

Zech 1:8-10

8 During the night I had a vision-and there before me was a man riding a red horse! He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.

9 I asked, "What are these, my lord?"

The angel who was talking with me answered, "I will show you what they are."

10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, "They are the ones the LORD has sent to go throughout the earth." NIV

 

Since the horses above represent something backed by the power of God they are indeed powerful forces.

In fact, horses are used as part of the information that tells us Revelation was given to John in a vision.  We know Revelation came to John in a vision because John tells us this was so:

Rev 9:17

The horses and riders I saw in my vision looked like this: Their breastplates were fiery red, dark blue, and yellow as sulfur. The heads of the horses resembled the heads of lions, and out of their mouths came fire, smoke and sulfur. NIV 

 

          Now obviously horses do not have heads that resemble those of lions.  Nor do horses breath fire and smoke so it is fairly clear from the start of this verse that these horses symbolize something else.  However, not all things in Revelation are as clearly symbolic as verse 17 in chapter 9.  As an example look at the following verse:

Rev 6:11

Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the number of their fellow servants and brothers who were to be killed as they had been was completed. NIV

 

All by itself the above verse does not seem to be symbolic but when the verse is put back into context it can’t be anything else.  Remember all of this is happening in this symbolic court, which the vision tells us is located in heaven, and these servants of God are, as part of the vision, spiritual beings so they would have no use for literal white material that comes from a literal material world.  Christ verifies this for us in: 

Rev 3:4

Yet you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes. They will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. NIV

 

In other words they will be with Christ in purity.  Sardis was one of the seven churches that were sent letters from God and rebuked for the things they were doing that were wrong.  Yet all were not guilty of wrong actions and those that were complimented are being told they would be “Dressed in white” The words white robes in Revelation 6:11 symbolize the purity that has been bestowed on them by God through His Son.

 

The book of Revelation is the unveiling of an explanation by Yahweh to his family, both in heaven and on earth, of the plans of the creator, and how man fits into those plans.  God accomplished this by revealing the meaning behind the events that are presently happening in this world, while heralding the future of mankind.  He did this through a vision, or mental pictures, given to John while he was held a prisoner on the Isle of Patmos by one of Rome’s Caesars. 

 

The vision takes place in a symbolic heavenly court:

Rev 4:1-2

1 After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this."

2 At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. NIV

 

          Now in verse 1 above we are told that a door was opened into heaven and John was invited into this heavenly place.  However, we know that flesh and blood cannot exist in heaven so we know this is all taking place in the head of John as Yahweh supplies the visions through an angel for John’s mind.

          In verse two John is telling us “At once I was in the Spirit,” which means that the message is being portrayed to John by the Holy Spirit of The Almighty.  This Holy Spirit is the same power that created the universe we live in.  What that means is that John understands what this vision is all about because the Holy Spirit of God is making the subject matter crystal clear for John to comprehend. 

Just the same that message coming to John by the power of God is being delivered to John by an angel, which we are told about in the very first verse of the book.

Rev 1:1

The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,

Because this vision has been carried to John in this manner it is John…

Rev 1:2

who testifies to everything he saw-that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. NIV

 

          Now it is also clear from the first verse of Revelation that it is the Father who has given this testimony of Jesus Christ to the Son and that is verified in the first verse by the words “which God gave him”.

Still, there is something else that is clear here.  John saw all this in a vision placed in his mind; he did not physically go into heaven.  There is no actual court somewhere in the heavenly realm with The Creator presiding over it in the manner relayed to John.  This court symbolizes The Almighty overseeing what He has, is, and will in the future bring to pass.  These actions are portrayed in Revelation symbolically as wind.  The word wind then represents Gods past actions as well as those actions he takes in our present time and also the actions He will cause to take place in the future concerning the earth. 

As an example of this it was an east wind that brought the locust to the house of Pharaoh during the ten plagues leveled at the Egyptians and a west wind that carried them away.

Now in Revelation John was given these symbolic mental pictures and he was told to write them down.

Rev 1:10-11

10 On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet,

11 which said: "Write on a scroll what you see and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea."  NIV

 

Notice, “"Write on a scroll what you see”. What John saw were symbolic mental pictures which is why John is being told to write what he saw.  Even though this symbolic heavenly court never actually existed it is being portrayed, as a court for John to mentally visualize because The Creator knows that a court is most easily recognized, and understood by man, as a place of high authority. That is what symbolism does.  It presents a picture that can be discerned or understood in any age making the symbolism that is used timeless.

John was given these symbolic images or mental pictures so that he could pass this information down to the rest of the family of God.  He did that by doing what he was told to do, and what he was told to do was to write it down, ”Write on a scroll what you see”.  One can say but that is not symbolic that is a command given by God to John along with the command to send what he wrote down to the seven churches.  This is true but it came as part of the vision that was given to John. The names of the churches are literal names but the command of writing to them was something for John to do in the future, the very command ”Write on a scroll what you see” verifies it was something John was to do in the future.

There is nothing in the writings of Revelation by John that tell us that anything he is visualizing is anything but symbolic.  For us to assume that we have some kind of mental prowess that would give us the ability to tell a difference between what is symbolic and what we think is real is to set ourselves on the wrong path.  A path that leads not only to confusion but also to a complete misunderstanding of what the images, the angel delivered to John, are telling us.  Yahweh did not have John write these images down so they would or could confuse us.  If some things were symbolic and others were not, then each would be clearly marked as being either symbolic or literal by the message itself. However, there is no such makings or guidelines stated anywhere in Revelation and we can therefore confidently go forth with the understanding that the entire message was and is given in symbolic form as it relates to, what was to John at the time, future events.

For those that ask why not assume that it is all written in reality take note on how much is obviously unreal and could not be anything but symbolic.  For instance, if it is not symbolic, then we must believe that Christ is really a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes.  

Rev 5:6

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.  NIV

 

We must also assume then that this lamb has human hands and that they are large enough to hold seven stars in one of them.

Rev 2:1

These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands: NIV

 

          Revelation is filled with symbolic statements like the above.  But again there is nothing in John’s writings that defines one statement as symbolic while another is not with the exceptions that are obvious; such as statements from Yahweh Himself.  Yahweh does not symbolize anything. Yahweh is God Almighty and there is no other God but He.  Therefore with the exception of God Himself there is nothing in Revelation to separate what is real from the symbolic.  However, both Christ and the Holy Spirit are symbolically portrayed in parts of Revelation.  There is only one God Almighty and there is only one Messiah therefore when John speaks of Christ the meaning is clear.  Even so, the Son of God who is the Messiah is spoken of in symbolic terms (the lamb of God or the lion of Judah) and that is because all of the mental pictures John is writing about are just that symbolic images of actions that were to come. 

If it was not symbolic, and the mental pictures showed only what was real, there would be giant holes filling the narration because John would have had no idea how to explain or describe them.  As an illustration of that, what would John have called a tank, a plane, a cannon, or a telephone?  These things or their usage John never even imagined during his time on earth.  This is why armies of the future in John’s writings are described as they are.  If God had shown John a dive-bomber destroying a city how would John have explained this with his understanding of things in his time?  Instead God used great birds as mental pictures for John to represent or symbolize dive-bombers.  Birds are something everyone in any age understands.

 Daniel had this problem when he was told by an angel to write the future down.  Daniel said in effect, to the angel portraying the future, that he did not understand what he was being told.  The angel replied Daniel should not to be worried because he could not understand it.  Only those living in that future time, which Daniel was writing about, would be able to discern its meaning.

Dan 12:8-10

8 I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?"

9 He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.

10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. NIV

 Daniel did as he was told and because he did we have a written record of thousands of years of history laid out, by our Creator to Daniel, just as it would happen long before those historic events even began.  Daniels writings included eight world powers in the order they would appear on earth right down to our present time.  Even those that claim, it was just men who wrote the Bible, have to agree that was a pretty good trick by Daniel if God was not behind it.  The Bible has proven itself through the test of both time and prophecy and people who make foolish claims about it show that they have no knowledge of it, which by the way verifies what the angel said to Daniel: “Those who are wise will understand.”

Well, one can ask, how do we know what these symbolic pictures mean? Now! If we had to guess we would be at a complete loss and one guess would be as good as another.  However, our Creator has not left anything to guess work.  He has given us this complete picture of what He is doing and He has given us the means to understand it by deciphering the symbolism using His own word.  The Bible interprets Revelation, in fact it does a magnificent job of just that…interpreting the pictures John was given to write down.  To find out what our Almighty Creator wants us to know we have to listen to him, and no one else.  We can only do that using a concordance and the Bible for that is the only way we can do what the Israelites were commanded to do.

Isa 1:18

"Come now, let us reason together," says the LORD…

 

          We know, from the first verse of Revelation (Rev 1:1) that the book is a message from the Almighty and that the Almighty gave this message to His only begotten Son.  The son gave it to an angel to deliver to John and John was told to send that message to seven churches which represents or symbolizes that spiritual church even today.  The word church means congregation, assembly or a group of people.  The seven churches in those times were not huge stone buildings on corners somewhere.  The church was made up of small groups of people that met in other spiritual brothers homes.

Philemon 1:1-2

1 To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker,

2 to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home: NIV

 

The seven churches are named by their locations because the message to each church relates directly to the area or location they exist in.  As an example…

Rev 3:14-17

14 "To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!

16 So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth. NIV 

 

Verse 16 above relates to the fact that Laodicea was a city that received its water supply from a long way off by viaducts that were exposed to the heat of the sun.  Now no one likes to drink warm water so the message is saying that God was well aware that they had become complacent in their faith and no longer willing to commit themselves.

          There are only two camps!  One is either in God’s camp or they are in Satan’s camp.  There is no fence between the two therefore one cannot sit on a fence that does not exist.  This is why they are being told…

So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth 

The overall message the Almighty speaks is sent through John directly to the church His Son now leads, that is why each letter concludes with “Listen to what the spirit has to say to the churches” plural.  This was done for an explicit reason.  The reason being, that before anything else, everyone in the family of God would know what God is doing. 

Yahweh is sending this message as though both He and His son had written it to the body of Christ as though each were conveying his own comments.  Jesus explained why this is so when he was with us as a human being.

John 10:26-30

27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.

29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.

30 I and the Father are one." NIV

 

The scriptures above that culminate with the words “I and the Father are one,” tell us that both Father and Son are unified on all things.  Just as Paul used this phrase in:

 

 

1 Cor 10:17

Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all partake of the one loaf. NIV

 

This doesn’t mean we all become one person but it does mean we all become one family.

Eph 3:14-15

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,

15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.

NIV

Heb 2:10-11

10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. NIV

 

 From the very beginning, the purpose of God was to create a spiritual family for His Son. 

The beginning, the Bible is speaking of in Genesis 1:1, is relating the beginning of this universe, for the Father of Christ, already existed before he started this physical heaven we can all see on a clear night.  Yet the very first creature of this universe was born before it was begun.

Col 1:16

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. NIV

 

This made Christ the only begotten Son of God just as we are told in

John 3:16

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. NIV

 

Therefore both the Father and the Son give those that follow His son protection under the kingdom Yahweh has set up for His son.  Since there is no one or anything more powerful than the Creator, that family is safely guarded and now through the message of Revelation they are also informed as to what God is doing concerning the future for both man and the planet he lives on.  God gives his family this information to allow them to be at rest, or peace and not upset at what is happening in the world.  This reinforces a peace that the family of God already possesses which is something the world does not know or understand.

Heb 4:1-2

Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.

2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith. NIV

 

Now there were more than seven churches in existence at the time John wrote down these things that he was given to see.  Why then is this message, ostensibly, being sent to just seven churches?  To understand this one has to know that in the Hebrew language there are no numbers as we have them.  In fact, there are no punctuations in the Paleo Hebrew writing at all they were simply one letter after the other without even a space between sentences or paragraphs.  In the Hebrew alphabet their first letter was used as the number 1 and second letter the number 2 etc.   Now because they had no punctuation they used numbers to accent or highlight comments or ideas.  There is nothing mystical or supernatural about all this. The number seven simply represents or symbolizes something that is perfect.  That is why the lamb has seven eyes and seven horns. The horns represent or symbolize salvation and because Christ is symbolizes with seven horns the writing is saying Christ was the perfect offering, or salvation of mankind, capable of seeing all things perfectly.  So the seven churches represent or symbolize the perfect body or perfect church of God. 

Even so the message itself was given to the whole world just as the salvation Christ bought, with His life, was also for the whole world.

Rev 1:3

Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. NIV

 

All of mankind is being given this message (note that anyone in the world can read this message today, right now) nonetheless, God knows that his family will most certainly take it to heart and that is why there is separate messages to the seven churches representing all the body of Christ.

The seven churches and the problems they were having at the time represent problems that are always present under Satan’s system.  The churches referred to in Revelation where, at the time, well known to the family of God and each church had a specialized message peculiar to it because of the area and circumstances of each body.  (This is the reason the background of each city is given in the Bible Probe so that one can see how that background relates to the message given to that church.) 

Just the same the message sent to each church is clearly intended for all the family of God including those in the family of God today.  This is why each message to each church concludes with a statement that each church should take heed to what the Spirit says to the entire body.  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  Each of the seven letters concludes in this manner speaking of the churches in the plural form, which clearly relates all as part of the same church or family of God. 

Heb 2:11

Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. NIV

 

          Something else that has to be said about churches is the word church means assembly, congregation, or to put it simply a collection of people.  It does not mean a building on a corner somewhere for churches at the time were in people’s homes.

Philemon 1,2

1 To Philemon our dear friend and fellow worker,

2 to Apphia our sister, to Archippus our fellow soldier and to the church that meets in your home:  NIV

 

 

          As soon as the perfect message to the perfect body of Christ is completed in chapters two and three, we find in chapter four, the Holy Spirit carries John into a vision of heaven itself.  The invitation for this to happen comes from no one less than the Creator.

 

 

 

Rev 4:1

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." NIV

 

          Notice “I will show you what must take place after this.”  There can be no doubt here that the Almighty is speaking of what will, indeed MUST, happen in the future for we are informed of special scrolls with special seals that need to be opened. 

In chapter five we are introduced to whom it is that will carry out this action of opening these scrolls, namely, Gods only begotten Son.  For it is this only begotten Son of the creator, the lion of the tribe of Judah, who is the only one in heaven or earth that is capable of opening the scrolls sealed by Yahweh that predict the future. 

That future, of both heaven and earth, begins in chapter six where the scrolls, opened by the only begotten Son of God, reveal the wrath of God carried out by the four horsemen of the apocalypse.  That this is the beginning of the wrath of God is clear from the final verses in the chapter.

Rev 6:16-17

16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!

17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"  NIV

 

Notice it is the “Wrath of the Lamb” in verse 16 and “The great day of their wrath” in verse 17 showing it is the lamb that carries out the wrath of His Father who is also His God.  How do we know that the Father is the Son’s God?  We know because that “That only begotten Son” (John 3:16) tells us so.

Rev 3:12-13

Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. NIV

 

Notice that Christ is referring to His Father as His God four times in this one verse.  And this is many years after His resurrection and after Christ has been seated at the right hand of His Father and his God. 

However, even though chapter six tells us of the wrath of God chapters 7 and 8 tell us of something that must take place before that wrath begins “For the great day of their wrath has come” (Rev 6:17) chapter seven tells us the four angels assigned to watch over the earth and cause or bring about that wrath of God are instructed to wait a bit until the family of God is sealed.

Rev 7:2-3

2 Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea:

3 "Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God."  NIV

 

Notice the four angels “had been given power to harm the land and the sea” There are a hundred and forty four thousand of these sons of God that are sealed from the old covenant and the house of Israel.  Just as the number seven represents anything that is perfect the number twelve represents anything that is complete such as twelve months complete a year and the number one thousand represents a number that is divinely ordained.  The twelve tribes of Israel made up the complete kingdom of God that was given to the house of Israel. Therefore the amount of 12000 from each tribe is a symbolic number representing the complete divinely decided number (whatever that amount might be) decided by God as part of His family from each of the 12 Hebrew tribes of the house of Israel.  

For those that believe this number is a literal number take note that we are told in the same chapter that this is not so for standing behind this 144,000 sealed from the 12 tribes of Israel is a great multitude of gentiles for they come from “Every nation, tribe, people and language” and that amount is so large NO ONE CAN COUNT THEM.

Rev 7:9

After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. NIV

 

          Now the Watchtower teaches that these great multitudes are the people that will come back after the resurrection and inhabit the earth.  However, this is refuted by one of the 24 elders in this spiritual court in heaven. Listen to the conversation between this elder and John.

          Then John is asked by one of the twenty-four elders a question concerning this great multitude.

Rev 7:13-15

13 Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes-who are they, and where did they come from?"

14 I answered, "Sir, you know."

And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

15 Therefore, "they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. NIV

 

Notice that these that make up the great crowd is standing before the throne in white robes and there are so many of them that they cannot be counted.  Why can’t they be counted?  This earth is finite in size and cannot hold an infinite amount of people unless there is a changeover of population, which is what Paul is talking about in…

1 Cor 15:51-52

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—

52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. NKJV

 

Now Paul is speaking not only of the dead but also the living that is why he is saying, “We shall not all sleep”.  This is why Isaiah had told us centuries before that the number of the spiritual citizens of heaven will never stop growing.

Isa 9:7

Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end… NIV

 

But notice also that this infinite number that cannot be counted are standing before that throne in heaven.  They have come out of the great tribulation that takes place on this planet but they are now in heaven.  This great multitude that no one can count have all been ransomed from earth and will serve Him in this spiritual realm forever.  What this means is that the number 144,000 is not a quantity of spiritual sons and daughters but a quality of these family members sealed and redeemed from the total amount of the house of Israel, whatever that actual number amounts to.  That actual number may be smaller or greater than 144,000 we have no way of knowing but we can be sure God knows that total to the very last one.

          Those that teach or believe this great multitude are those that will be resurrected to the earth to live here eternally are not considering verse 16 below, which belies that belief.

Rev 7:16-17

16 Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.

The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. NIV

 

If they were to be part of the physical world then they would grow hungry, and grow thirsty, for God created man in this manner and for good reason.  Food and drink are the sources of their energy.  This is the reason that vegetables were created to supply that energy source along with oxygen for the breath of life.  One might also ask if this great crowd is to inhabit the earth…why are they all standing before the Creator in heaven? 

 

Now chapter eight of Revelation begins with…

Rev 8:1

8:1 When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour. NIV

 

          We know it is Christ who is opening these seals and the seventh seal is the final seal, the seal that represents judgment of all.

Rev 20:11-13

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them.

12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books.

13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. NIV

 

          Now there is no actual gigantic book in the sky somewhere with everyone’s name in it.  That book represents or symbolizes Gods memory, which is better than a book.  The book could get lost but the memory of God is forever.  That memory of God is beyond our understanding.  For instance, science has determined that there are over 50 billion galaxies that we can see in the heavens we look at on any clear night.  Within each galaxy there are billions and billions of stars.  Yet not only does God know were each star is, but he also calls each by name.

Isa 40:26

Lift your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these?

He who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name.

Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.

NIV 

          I don’t know about you but a being with that kind of strength and power strikes me as being way, way, beyond awesome.

 

Now in chapter eight we are introduced to seven angels that are given trumpets to sound the events that will bring about that wrath of God spoken of in chapter six.  That the angels are sounding these events means that these predicted events are being brought about by the power of the Holy Spirit. These trumpeted sounds represent the wind or actions of God against the earth, which are the expressions of wrath so long warned, would come by the Creator.

It is extremely note worthy that in chapter eight there is something forecast that has never happened on the earth before our time and it comes with the start or the beginning of Gods wrath.

Rev 8:7

The first angel sounded his trumpet, and there came hail and fire mixed with blood, and it was hurled down upon the earth. A third of the earth was burned up, a third of the trees were burned up, and all the green grass was burned up. NIV

 

          As you read this there are rain forests being burned out of existence.

Roughly speaking about half of all the rain forests in the world have been destroyed to this date of Dec 2001.  Starvation which comes about because of the third horseman of the apocalypse is causing man to deliberately set fire to these forests in a vain attempt to create farmland.  

Pollution along with nuclear testing has brought about a worldwide form of acid rain that is literally burning up trees grass and foliage.  This is affecting the trees in all the forests of the earth.  Again this is something that has never happened before in the history of mankind yet God told us it would happen, through John, almost two thousand years ago.

 

          Now for those that claim that Revelation is literal then they must look for a literal eagle that speaks and shouts out the following words in chapter eight.

 

 

 

Rev 8:13

13 As I watched, I heard an eagle that was flying in midair call out in a loud voice: "Woe! Woe! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth, because of the trumpet blasts about to be sounded by the other three angels!"  NIV

 

          This eagle, if it were a literal eagle, would also have to shout this out in every language of the known world while it would also take a good deal of time to fly around the globe.  The point is that this event is something that could not have occurred without it being noticed by someone when it happened.  It is spoken of in the past tense here because it has… already happened.  It took place early in the nineteen hundreds.  It was Christ who told us this would herald the beginning of the First World War.

Matt 24:7-9

7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places.

8 But all these things are the beginning of travail.

9 Then shall they deliver you up unto tribulation, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all the nations for my name's sake.  ASV

 

All good historians will agree that the First World War and the Second World War are both part of the same war.  Mankind just took a break they called and armistice in the interim.  (My father use to joke, if the First World War was the war to end all wars why did they give it a number.)

          Of course there was no eagle flying through the sky that shouted out human words.  The eagle symbolizes speed for it is the fastest of all the birds in flight.  It is for this reason that the eagle symbolizes the rapid chain of events, which brought about the First World War.  An event that man had absolutely no control over at all. 

Eph 6:11-13

11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.

12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. NIV

 

          One might ask if it is Gods Wrath that is being spoken of here why are scriptures being quoted that applies to Satan and his forces.  The reason is it is Satan’s world or system of things that is being used by the four angels, under Gods direction, to bring about that wrath.  In other words The Creator is using Satan’s own system against him.  This leaves Satan absolutely powerless to do anything about it.  How apropos!  How magnificent! 

How do we know that the above is so?  Because we are told this in…

 

James 1:13-15

13 When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone;

          What James is saying above is that God does not tempt anyone with evil, which is born out in the scriptures that follow.

14 but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.

15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. NIV

 

          So God allows mankind, through Satan’s corrupt system here on earth, to bring about the wrath of God on himself.

          Yet, just as we are told, mankind does not see the wrath of God for what it really is. 

Rev 9:20-21

20 The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood-idols that cannot see or hear or walk.

21 Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts. NIV

 

Listen to Peters comment on this.

2 Peter 3:3-7

3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

4 They will say, "Where is this `coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation."

5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the Day of Judgment and destruction of ungodly men. NIV

 

Notice in verse 6 “The world of that time was deluged and destroyed.”  That world was destroyed, but that world existed on the surface of the same old earth we walk on today. In fact we are told in the scriptures…

Eccl 1:4

Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. NIV

 

The Day of Judgment in 2 Peter 3:7 is referring to Armageddon, which does not occur until the thousand-year reign of Christ is over for we are not told of Armageddon until after the thousand-year reign of Christ is completed.

Rev 20:7-8

7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth-Gog and Magog-to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. NIV

 

 

 

Ezek 38:14-16

14 "Therefore, son of man, prophesy and say to Gog: `This is what the Sovereign LORD says: In that day, when my people Israel are living in safety, will you not take notice of it?

15 You will come from your place in the far north, you and many nations with you, all of them riding on horses, a great horde, a mighty army.

16 You will advance against my people Israel like a cloud that covers the land. In days to come, O Gog, I will bring you against my land, so that the nations may know me when I show myself holy through you before their eyes. NIV

         

However, that event is yet to come in the message John is writing down for us.  Wondrously, chapter eight begins with a comment about the saints that show God keeps his promises even in His wrath. 

Rev 8:3-4

3 Another angel, who had a golden censer, came and stood at the altar. He was given much incense to offer, with the prayers of all the saints, on the golden altar before the throne.

4 The smoke of the incense, together with the prayers of the saints, went up before God from the angel's hand. NIV

 

Notice the golden censer carries not only the burning incense but also all the prayers of the saints.  Prayers that have come since Christ said:

Matt 24:21-22

If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened. NIV

 

          The elect spoken of above are the saints.  Therefore prior to the actual wrath of God being displayed on the earth Jehovah remembers what He has promised through His Son and limits his anger before His wrath actually begins.  Remember back in chapter six the creator put a restriction on the four horsemen of the Apocalypse by limiting the amount of death they can inflict on the earth to one quarter of what they were capable of.

Rev 6:8

“ …They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.”  NIV

 

Notice also that Rev 6:8 is referring to all four horsemen by the word “They”

          But chapter 8 of Revelation ends with a warning by a swift flying eagle of sure and certain woes that are about to fall on the earth. Then chapter 9 begins to tell us what the first of these woes would be.

Rev 9:1

The fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth. The star was given the key to the shaft of the Abyss.

NIV

 

     Notice “Had fallen” is referring to Satan when he tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden for it is not saying that he was cast out of heaven but that he had fallen from heaven.  Christ tells this to his disciples when they were so amazed that the demons had to yield to their demands.  

Luke 10:18

He replied, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. NIV

Christ is speaking here in the past tense.  However, there comes a future time when Satan is cast from heaven along with those angels that follow him, which occurs in chapter 12 but let us not get ahead of ourselves.

    

     It is in chapter nine that the four angels assigned to govern the actions or wind of God on the earth are released against one third of the population of the world however…

Rev 9:4

They were told not to harm the grass of the earth or any plant or tree, but only those people who did not have the seal of God on their foreheads.

NIV

     It is clear from the scripture above that the wrath of God is aimed at the world and not at the family of God. 

     However, if one is looking for literal translations of Revelation we are confronted with something in Rev 9:1 that is impossible in this universe.  It is not possible for a star to fall onto the earth. “I saw a star that had fallen from the sky to the earth.”  The earth could fall into a star but not the other way around unless God were to cancel gravity at which point the whole universe would fly apart.  Well people say, God can do anything He wants, which is not so.  The Bible tells us that there are things God cannot do.  For instance…God cannot lie. 

Titus 1:1-3

A faith and knowledge resting on the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time, NIV

 

     Nor can God do anything unrighteous which means God cannot make a one sided coin in a three-dimensional world without altering the laws that govern that world which is also what would have to be done to make a star fall onto the earth.  Along with this it should be pointed out that if God did cause a star to fall on the earth, the earth would turn to cinders long before the star reached it making all that is said in the rest of Revelation mute; as well as impossible.  It has been estimated that about one million planets the size of earth would fit inside our sun with room left over.  The point of this is that it is not a physical star that is being referred to in Rev 9:1 anymore than it is physical stars that Christ symbolically holds in his hand in Rev 2:1 Nonetheless a star is cast out of heaven onto the earth.  The identity of this fallen star is explained in chapter 12 of Revelation.

Rev 12:7-9

7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.

9 The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. NIV

 

“He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” That his angels or the angels that followed Satan were hurled to the earth with him explains the use of the word star, which means in this case an angel because we are told in chapter twelve that a third of the angels in heaven were dragged to the earth with him.

Rev 12:4

His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth… NIV

 

     There is something else that should be noted about Revelation. Although the sequence of predicted events is given in their order, they are not particularly in the order of one event following the other in each successive chapter.  The wrath of God is stated as starting in chapter six but as we see in chapters seven and eight we are told of other events that had to happen or precede that wrath before the first woe starts in chapter nine.  In other words each chapter fills in more details of the plans of God as it goes so that we can get a complete picture of what the Creator is doing. 

     Chapter nine gives us a further identification of this angel that was hurled from the heavens.

Rev 9:11

They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon.  NIV

 

Abaddon in Hebrew translates into, or means, a destroying angel.  The Greek word Apollyon means an angel such as Satan, and this is exactly what we were told in Rev 12:9.

 

     All of this began in 1914.  How do we know that?  We know because of Daniel and it is Christ who sends us to Daniel for that date.

Matt 24:15-16

“So when you see standing in the holy place `the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel-let the reader understand-“ NIV

 

     There is what is known as a Biblical steam of time.  That stream of time as it relates to prophecy in Revelation begins with Daniel and the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in the year 607 BC.  607 BC is the starting point of that stream of time concerning prophecy in the Bible.  The temple, at that time, was over run by Babylonians, which was the abomination spoken of in Matt 24:15.  It came about because God had abandoned the house of Israel which was the desolation spoken of in that verse by Christ.  The time is related to chapter four in Daniel portrayed by a dream the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had of a giant tree so large it covered the whole earth.  In the dream a watcher angel cuts down this gigantic tree and bands it with copper and iron and protects the root for seven times which turns out to be seven years with each day of that time representing one year.  Since a Bible year is 360 days long the period of seven times, related in Daniel, equals seven times 360 or 2520 years.  To relate that to our time subtract the negative year 607 BC and you come out with 1913. Since there was never a year zero we have to add one year which leaves us with the year 1914, which is the year Christ was directing us to when he said it was the time “Spoken of through the prophet Daniel-let the reader understand-“ This predicted time was the end of the age of the gentiles which means it was the beginning of a new age that Daniel was told would be the age of the time of the end.

Dan 8:17

As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. "Son of man," he said to me, "understand that the vision concerns the time of the end." NIV

Dan 12:9-10

9 He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.

10 Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand.  NIV

 

 

 

Dan 11:35

Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time. NIV

 

     Now, when Satan and the host that followed him were thrown out of heaven, at the appointed time of 1914, there was the beginning of the First World War, which is the war that Christ is referring to in Math 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21.

     Why is Christ speaking of this war in Matt 24:7 when in verse 6, just before this, he has told us not to be concerned with wars.  Christ is focusing on this world war because this is the war that begins Gods wrath. It is the war that comes about because of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.  The four horsemen, sent by order of God to use Satan’s own system against him.  The beginning of the world wide wars we have known from that time on meant that Satan truly did come down to the world like a roaring lion after being thrown out of heaven. Notice he didn’t fall out of heaven he was thrown out and he knows his time is limited which is why he is so violent.

1Peter 5:8

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: KJV

 

     Since we have been told that Apollyon or Satan is in charge of the nations that war with each other they also act the part of a roaring lion.

 

Ezek 22:25

There is a conspiracy of her princes within her like a roaring lion tearing its prey; they devour people, take treasures and precious things and make many widows within her. NIV

 

     Hitler’s second in command, Goering, spent the whole war collecting art and treasures from the countries the Nazis conquered, some of which have yet to be recovered.

     The First World war bleed into the Second World War which slowly developed into the Korean and Viet Nam War and the rest of the conflicts including terrorism that have been plaguing the world since.  They have all been nation against nation with the major nations involved either directly or indirectly and always with the very real threat of a world wide nuclear disaster sitting squarely in the middle. 

     Yet the world never noticed or related this to God, just as Peter said they wouldn’t.

2 Peter 3:3-4

3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

4 They will say, "Where is this `coming' he promised? Ever since our fathers died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation." NIV

 

  Could we say in truth “everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation”?  The Second World War was aimed at the house of Israel and six million Jews were murdered in ovens just to prove it. Has this kind of mass slaughter been going on since the beginning of creation? 

     Mankind has managed to pollute even the oceans and that took a concerted effort to accomplish.  Has that been going on since the beginning?

     The air we breathe can instigate dire health problems for many from the pollution of the sky we live under.  Has that worldwide pollution been rampant since the beginning?  No it hasn’t, but all these things and more have been going on since the date Christ told us about in Matt 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 or the beginning of the time of the end.  By the way there is a difference between the end times and the time of the end.  A book has a beginning middle and an end. Many chapters may describe the time of the end of the book, or the events that lead to its conclusion, but it is the last chapter that relates the final end of the book.  This is also true of the book of Revelation.

     Now in chapter ten of Revelation we have something strange occur.  Up to now Christ has been in charge of the wrath of God.  But in chapter 10 God Almighty interrupts and speaks out with a voice of thunder.  Why?  Up to now The Almighty has left it all up to His Son but now The Almighty speaks.  Why?  The Almighty speaks out because He must for He is the only one that knows the day and hour, which Christ spoke of while here on earth with us? 

Mark 13:32-33

“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” NIV

 

Mark 13:28-29

28 "Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.

29 Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. NIV           

 

Therefore the Almighty speaks out with a perfect voice clear as thunder and gives this information to all, the time, and the process that judgment will be rendered.  But Christ stops John before he has time to write this down.

Rev 10:3-4

And when the seven thunders spoke, I was about to write; but I heard a voice from heaven say, "Seal up what the seven thunders have said and do not write it down." NIV

 

Why is this information that all the host of heaven, and even John has heard, being sealed up?  It is sealed because that is the date of the final judgment, which does not come about until the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ. Which is what Christ is telling the faithful in:

Mark 13:29

Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that it is near, right at the door. NIV           

Rev 20:7-8

7 When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison 8 and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth-Gog and Magog-to gather them for battle… NIV

 

So John was told to seal up that information because it is the date of the start of Armageddon. It is at that time that man has to prove his faithfulness to The Creator to avoid the second death.

Rev 20:12

And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. NIV

 

 All those that do this will then come to life.

Rev 20:4

 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) NIV

 

     The term “come to life” means those that have proven themselves faithful will gain the promise of eternal life at that time for they will no longer be subject to death for death too will be wiped away. 

Rev 20:14

Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death NIV

 

     Even though chapter 10 is speaking of what chapter 20 clearly defines there is something else that happens in chapter 10.  John is told to take a pamphlet from the angel and eat it. He is told it will taste sweet in his mouth but bitter in his stomach.  John does what he is told and the following happens.

Rev 10:9-11

10 I took the little scroll from the angel's hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.

11 Then I was told, "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings."  NIV

 

John is being told "You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, languages and kings."   John always found the word of God sweet in his mouth but what John found bitter was that he must repeat his preaching again during the thousand-year reign of Christ.  He found it bitter because he was being told that he had to preach to those that had ignored the gospel the first time they heard it.  In other words his ministry work was not yet done. 

     In chapter 11 John is told to measure the temple.  Now God knows exactly the physical dimensions of the temple for it was the Almighty that gave those dimensions to Solomon to begin with.  So it is not the physical dimensions that John is being told to measure but the amount of faithful followers of God that are to be counted.  The reason for this is because chapter eleven has taken us into the past in a flashback of history, so to speak, to the period at the beginning of the time of the gentles.  This is why John is told not to bother with the outer court, which was also known as the court of the gentiles.

Rev 11:1-2

1 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, "Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there.

2 But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. NIV

 

     Now why is God telling John to measure or count the faithful followers of the Almighty and His Son?  Wouldn’t God already know these faithful to the last person?  Of course he would.  But this is the time set by God to assemble the two witnesses required of the law He gave to the House of Israel.  It is a time in mans history we call the dark ages.  A time when mans inhumanity to man was worldwide in its scope of ignorance and superstition.  It was also a time when spiritually darkness was rampant for this was the time when the church of Satan took command of man bringing about both the crusades and the inquisition; to mention just two of the atrocities Satan has perpetrated against mankind.  

     In the covenant given to the House of Israel in order to condemn anyone to death for any crime there had to be two witnesses.  Even though the House of Israel, would not, and did not honor the covenant they made with God that does not mean that God would not honor His word or the law; therefore the call for two witnesses are shown in chapter 11 of Revelation.  Chapter six is declaring the wrath of God and God would not issue that wrath without witnesses to verify His action of sending forth the four horseman of the Apocalypse as being righteous and honorable as well as justified by the covenant and the law.

 

     The last verse of chapter 11 is a prelude to chapter 12 in Revelation for it says:

Rev 11:17

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. NIV

 

     How does God Almighty begin to reign?  He does so by putting all things under his only begotten Son.

1 Cor 15:27-28

27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.

28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. NIV

 

     Chapter twelve is speaking of this time when Christ was resurrected after his three-day stay in hell and raised to the right hand of the Almighty.  This chapter is referring to the beginning of the kingdom of heaven, which occurred as soon as Christ was resurrected.

Matt 27:50-53

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split.

52 The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.

53 They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people. NIV

 

     Here is Matthew verifying that the kingdom of heaven began right after the resurrection of Christ.  However, the kingdom on earth could not begin at that time for Satan still had his period designated as the time of the gentiles left.  The end times had begun with the coming of Christ. The time of the end starts with the wrath of God but the time of the end could not begin until the time of the gentiles was completed.  As chapter twelve tells us when the time of the gentiles came to a conclusion then the time of the end could begin and it begins with Satan and his followers being thrown out of heaven.

Rev 12:7-10

7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back.

8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.

9 The great dragon was hurled down-that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

"Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  NIV

 

Verse ten above is verifying that the kingdom of heaven or the beginning of the end times began when we were told about it in Matt 27, which was right after the resurrection of Christ.  At that time there was a new heaven meaning that its king began to rein at that time at the right hand of Yahweh. The time of the end began when the time of the gentiles came to a close, which was in 1914. This also proves that the thousand-year reign of Christ has nothing to do with our calendar but is calculated and predicted under Gods time, however long that may be in our days, months, and years.

     The end times then began with the kingdom of heaven being cleansed of Satan and his followers and this is verified in verse

Rev 12:12

12 “Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them!

But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you!

He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." NIV

 

Notice that heavens can now rejoice because the troublemaker is gone from the realm of heaven but as for the earth we are told LOOK OUT! 

     Satan’s time is short, by the way, because in 1914 the time of the gentiles was completed and we then entered the time of the end, which is talking about the end of Satan and his system of things.

 

     Chapter 13 describes the main force of Satan and his cohorts and their instigation of earthly problems.  The sea spoken of in this chapter is mankind in general and as we see from the beginning of the chapter Satan stands on the shore and manipulates men as if they were puppets.

Let’s first show from the word that the sea symbolizes mankind.

Rev 17:15

Then the angel said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. NIV

 

     Now let us point out something that becomes strikingly clear in chapter 13. 

Rev 13:9-10

9 He who has an ear, let him hear.

10 If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. NIV

 

     These above verses mean that even though the wrath of God is not aimed at His family there may be members of the family that inadvertently get caught up in the events such as a bombing raid during the war.  If such a thing occurs one cannot expect magical powers to protect your flesh from the effects of exploding bombs.  That is why verse 10 ends with “This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints”.  Those in the family of God can be patient and endure because they know that their resurrection is sure and certain and all of this brings us just that much closer to the final and inevitable all encompassing kingdom of God.

 

     This is repeated and expounded on in chapter 14.

Rev 14:9-13

9 A third angel followed them and said in a loud voice: "If anyone worships the beast and his image and receives his mark on the forehead or on the hand,

10 he, too, will drink of the wine of God's fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of his wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb.

     The wrath of God is aimed at Satan and his system of things here on the earth.  There is no fence between the two camps for one to sit on you are either on Gods side or on Satan’s side that is why verse 10 above is saying of those in Satan’s camp “He too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury”.

11 And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night for those who worship the beast and his image, or for anyone who receives the mark of his name."

12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

     Why would this require patient endurance by the saints?  . The answer is because there is no peace for those abiding in Satan’s camp.  There are saints living in this world of Satan and the ravages of this world can affect them as well as the rich and the poor alike.  There is no haven of protection for the rich and the famous and Hollywood is a prime example of this.  They suffer additional torments because of the life style they lead, which is why the verse is saying, “The smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever.”  Even after Gods kingdom is in full force the memory of there iniquities will not be erased but live on as a warning.  But on the other hand the next verse is saying…

13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."  "Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them." NIV

     It is the spirit of God that is speaking in verse 13 above.

 

     In chapter 15 we find a statement on the conclusion of the wrath of God after the seven plagues sent through seven angels. 

 

 

 

Rev 15:1

I saw in heaven another great and marvelous sign: seven angels with the seven last plagues-last, because with them God's wrath is completed. NIV 

 

The important part of this chapter is that the conclusion of Gods wrath does take place and then His kingdom takes over all things.

Rev 15:4

Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name?

For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed." NIV

 

The verse above is saying that in all the nations there will be no one that does not fear or worship the Creator after the seven bowls of Gods wrath have been poured out. 

 

     In chapter 16 we find out on who and what the seven bowls are being poured.  When this is completed we find that this leads us right up to the second coming of Christ and what is known in the Bible as Armageddon. 

     There is something in chapter 16 that has to be explained.

Rev 16:7

And I heard the altar respond: "Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments." NIV

    

     Are we to believe that an inanimate altar suddenly begins to talk?  Of course not!  This is referring us back to chapter 6.  Remember the saints under the altar; it is their voice that we hear.

Rev 6:9

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. NIV

 

     It is these saints under the altar that were crying out for the vengeance of God’s word that are now agreeing that the wrath Yahweh has poured out is proper for they are shouting out, "Yes, Lord God Almighty, true and just are your judgments."

     It is also worth noting that these saints, or Christians, who had been killed in one way or another were crying out, not for vengeance for themselves, for as Christians they would have had to forgive those that trespassed against them, but they are crying out for the vengeance of God’s word.  It was for preaching and upholding this word that they were killed to begin with. Why are they saying to God “True and just are your judgments”?  There is an angel telling us why these saints consider the reason God’s wrath against those that hate Him is just.

Rev 16:6

“For they have shed the blood of your saints and prophets, and you have given them blood to drink as they deserve." NIV

 

     However, what is most noteworthy in chapter 16 of Revelation is the first mention of Armageddon the final battle by God against Satan and all he stands for.

Rev 16:16

Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. NIV

 

Armageddon takes place at the end of the thousand-year reign of Christ after Satan has been released from his prison for a short time.  It is at Armageddon that the wrath of God is completed against Satan and all his forces for they are totally destroyed at that time. However, let us not get ahead of ourselves in Revelation for the explanation of Armageddon is yet chapters away.  In the meantime there is a whole lot more to chapter 16.

As an example…

Rev 16:10

The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness. Men gnawed their tongues in agony NIV

 

     It is clear from the above scripture that the wrath of God is aimed at Satan and His system of things.  I have often had people say to me that they are afraid of Revelation and the gloom and doom it predicts.  My answer to that is if I were in the camp of Satan then I would be afraid of it also and with very good reason.  However, that gloom and doom is not aimed at the family of God, which is why God has told us through John that these things must take place.

Rev 4:1

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." NIV

 

     There is an angel that appears in chapter 17 to give us a good idea what God meant when he said in chapter 16 “The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom was plunged into darkness…”

Rev 17:1

One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, "Come, I will show you the punishment of the great prostitute, who sits on many waters.” NIV

 

     This angel takes John into a desert to see the harlot called Babylon the Great and this chapter tells him and us exactly who and what she represents.  She is in a symbolic desert because a desert is not a place that man can easily find water for life.  This makes sense when you realize that Christ is offering Gods free gift of the water of eternal life. 

     Also, as it turns out, this harlot is not at all mysterious to God’s family for the angel strips away her false mask of religious piety.

Rev 17:7

Then the angel said to me: "Why are you astonished? I will explain to you the mystery of the woman and of the beast she rides, which has the seven heads and ten horns. NIV

 

     The beast she rides, it turns out, are nations that have risen out of the sea.  Now the sea in Revelation is never an ocean for the angel pointedly tells John…

Rev 17:15-16

Then the angel said to me, "The waters you saw, where the prostitute sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations and languages. NIV

 

     If this discussion of water is confusing look again at Revelation 17:1 and take note that the angel is telling John this harlot is in the desert sitting on many waters which is not something one finds in a desert.  Chapter 17 finishes with…

Rev 17:18

“The woman you saw is the great city that rules over the kings of the earth.” NIV

 

     Is there such a city in the world today?  There sure is and she is called the Vatican. 

     It should be pointed out here that chapters 17 and 18 are very much events that are yet to come about in a future time.  Yet, John was told from the beginning that these things “…must take place…” God is very clear about this.  He is not saying this might happen, or could happen, or should happen, but rather what MUST take place.  In fact this is repeated in:

Rev 22:6

The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place." NIV                                      

 

Which leads us to another angel that appears in chapter 18 of Revelation to tell us in detail about what is to happen to this great city of Satan.  This new angel cries out…

Rev 18:2

“…Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!” NIV

 

     Then we hear a heavenly voice, which we have learned from previous chapters is, Christ declaring…

Rev 18:4-5

4 so that you will not receive Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, any of her plagues;

5 for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.

NIV

 

     In chapter 18 this symbolic harlot is spoken of as having committed adultery with the kings of the world.  God is not here speaking of sexual acts.  In the Old Testament He equated Israel as a wanton wife and spoke of their following pagan gods as being adulterous. The adultery spoken of is expounded on in chapter 18 and shown to be religions share and part in the commerce of the world and how in the end commerce will be the only one that will give any thought to this Great Prostitute. The reason for this is stated in the last verse of chapter 18.

Rev 18:24

“In her was found the blood of prophets and of the saints, and of all who have been killed on the earth.” NIV

 

     The first part of the above scripture is speaking of the “Blood of prophets and of the saints”. The second part is referring to the sea, or the world of mankind in general, “all who have been killed on the earth” because of this Great Prostitutes lust for wealth and power over the centuries?  This relates to great numbers of innocent people killed in wars such as the crusades.  It includes great numbers killed in religious fervor such as the inquisition in Europe and even small numbers such as those burned as witches in Salem in this country. These few well-known historic events are mentioned to give one an idea of the crimes that the voice from heaven (Christ) is speaking of.

Rev 18:5

“For her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.”

NIV

 

And for those crimes we are told God will repay her, many times over.  The ones that lament for the loss of this harlot called Babylon the Great will be the commerce of the world.  Commerce is equated to ship captains and sailors in this chapter for they are the ones that carried this commerce around the globe.

 

     Revelation is often spoken of by the world as a book of doom for the world and it is, for Satan’s system of things.  However, it is not doom for Gods earth; but gloom and doom for Satan’s world.  In fact look at these verses in chapter 19.

Rev 19:17-18

17 And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God,

18 so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and mighty men, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great." NIV

     For those that believe that Revelation is a book of literal events do they believe that God is going to call all the birds in the world to come and eat people?  Would that include sparrows and canaries along with ducks and swans?  Or is birds used symbolically because everyone is familiar with the meat eating bird called a vulture.  If you try to make the above scriptures literal events then you must assume that the birds are going to eat all people good and bad for that is what it is implying in verse 18 when it says

”The flesh of all people, free and slave, small and great." NIV 

Obviously this is not what we are being told but what we are being informed that the lust for power, the greed and corruption of this world is what will be destroyed along with the rest of its ills.  How is this accomplished?  The double-edged sword of truth that Christ carries in his mouth is how it is accomplished.  Is that a literal double-edged sword?  Of course not but the truth which comes from the word, that is literal.  We know this because that is what the message of chapter 19 is:

Rev 19:15

Out of his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron scepter." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. NIV

 

This sword of truth was, in fact, referred to before in one of the letters to the seven churches.

Rev 2:16

Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. NIV

 

This kingdom of truth was also referred to way back in Daniel’s time.

Dan 2:44

"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. NIV

 

This could not have been the kingdom on earth set up for the house of Israel for the time had not yet come.   The kingdom on earth had been set up for the Israelites but man still had to wait for the time when the only begotten Son of God” would bring that kingdom of heaven into fruition.

Rev 19:1

After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: "Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, NIV

 

Rev 19:6

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: "Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. NIV

 

     But what happened to the kingdom of God that was here on earth.  Nothing happened to it.  It is still here.  The land given to the Israelites did not fall off the earth it still occupies the same spot on earth that it always did.  God did not condemn the kingdom he condemned the people he had given it to because they would not honor His covenant.  How then does all this take place, what will happen to restore this kingdom of God on earth which will also be ruled by Christ to come about.  When we go to chapter 20 we find the answer to this question is simple. The ultimate cause of all the problems on the earth, is taken out of the picture.

Rev 20:1-3

1 And I saw an angel coming down out of heaven, having the key to the Abyss and holding in his hand a great chain.

2 He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.

3 He threw him into the Abyss, and locked and sealed it over him, to keep him from deceiving the nations anymore until the thousand years were ended. After that, he must be set free for a short time. NIV

 

     Now with Satan out of the way what can we expect to happen?  We are told of this in chapter 21.

Rev 21:1

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. NIV

 

     Does this mean that the old heaven and old earth were destroyed and now there is a new universe?  Not at all!  The new heaven and earth are new in the same way we are made new even in this time, now today.

2 Cor 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! NIV

 

Did the old you literally disappear?  It did if you have altered your life to fit the spiritual values laid out for us by both The Father and the Son.  Even though you are still in the same old body you had to begin with, you have become a new person.  If you doubt this then look at what Jehovah is saying in this message of Revelation to us

Rev 21:4

He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.

NIV

Notice, “For the old order of things has passed away.”

 

Peter made this clear in:

2 Peter 3:5-6

5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

NIV

 

Notice, “The world of that time was deluged and destroyed.” That world was destroyed and even though we live in a different world you and I are still walking on the same old earth that the former world, which was destroyed, existed on. 

     Now just so there is no mistake about this entire discussion, of a new heaven and a new earth, God makes a final comment about it all.

Rev 21:5

He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true." NIV

 

     If in your mind you are wondering about this new earth that is new because it will then be completely ruled by the Son of God then notice what the angel shows John concerning this earthly kingdom.

Rev 21:1-4

1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

Remember the sea is the general populace that does not know God but that great sea of men ceases to exist because everyone, at the time this is speaking of, will know the truth of God.

Isa 11:9

They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. NIV

That day is still in the future but what will happen to bring this about?

Rev 21:2

And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband;

The question here is if the whole universe is to be destroyed and burned up and no longer in existence, as religions would have us believe, then where is this New Jerusalem coming down too?  

 

 

Isa 11:10

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. NIV

Isa 11:12

He will raise a banner for the nations and gather the exiles of Israel; he will assemble the scattered people of Judah from the four quarters of the earth.

NIV

This theme of the kingdom of God is prevalent throughout the word of God. Listen to what God said about it through Ezekiel.

Ezek 34:25-31

25 "I will make a covenant of peace with them and rid the land of wild beasts so that they may live in the desert and sleep in the forests in safety.

26 I will bless them and the places surrounding my hill. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing.

27 The trees of the field will yield their fruit and the ground will yield its crops; the people will be secure in their land. They will know that I am the LORD, when I break the bars of their yoke and rescue them from the hands of those who enslaved them.

28 They will no longer be plundered by the nations, nor will wild animals devour them. They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid.

29 I will provide for them a land renowned for its crops, and they will no longer be victims of famine in the land or bear the scorn of the nations.

30 Then they will know that I, the LORD their God, am with them and that they, the house of Israel, are my people, declares the Sovereign LORD.

31 You my sheep, the sheep of my pasture, are people, and I am your God, declares the Sovereign LORD." NIV

Rev 21:3-4

3 and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself will be with them;

Notice it is saying, “The dwelling of God is with men” it is not saying man will dwell with God but that God will dwell with men.

4 he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away." RSV

Rev 22:3

No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.  NIV

 Rev 22:10-11

10 Then he told me, "Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, because the time is near.

11 Let him who does wrong continue to do wrong; let him who is vile continue to be vile; let him who does right continue to do right; and let him who is holy continue to be holy." NIV

 

Finally a note on world wars

 

     At the Nuremberg trials of the Nazi war criminals it was postulated by the German defense lawyer that if leaders of Nations were responsible for their actions to the world… then the whole world was responsible for the Nazi regime.  “It was the Vatican,” stated the defense, “that first recognized Hitler as the leader of Germany in 1933.”  This, of course, was true and the Vatican had done this to promote the church politically with the then rapidly rising power of the third Reich.  It was not a question of what was right or wrong.  It was not a question of what was correct as a Christian but the Vatican viewed this as merely a question of politics.  The teachings of Christ, although it should have been the only course of action taken by the Vatican, did not enter into the decision at all. 

     The defense attorney of these war criminals also pointed to the American industrialists leaders that made a fortune in trade with Japan and Hitler’s madmen without any regard to what the industrialist part in all was leading to. 

     The kind of things mentioned above are brought out because worldwide insanity will always be prominent in the world of Satan so long as Satan is present to create the desire for power along with the lust for wealth and the control of others.

 This is what Christ meant when he said:

John 18:36

Jesus answered, "My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting, that I might not be delivered up to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm." NAS

 

Notice Christ is saying His kingdom is not of this realm meaning not of this world which is quite different from this earth.  The kingdoms of the world belong at this time to Satan and of course that means they are not part of Christ’s kingdom or realm.  Nonetheless there is a time coming when that will be changed.

Rev 20:1-3

1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,

3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. KJV

 

Notice, “that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled:”

     What can we expect to happen at that time?  We can expect what was told to us so long ago through the prophets such as Daniel.

 

 

 

Dan 2:44-45

"In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. NIV

 

The kingdom spoken of by Daniel along with the addition of the spiritual or heavenly kingdom, which Christ under the new covenant has announced to us, is what the final chapter of Revelation is all about and the promise that it will take place just as the Creator has predicted and promised.

Rev 22:21

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. KJV



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